LCR’s first Innovation Investment Week to highlight huge opportunities, while inspiring future innovators

World leading innovation, billions of pounds of opportunities and inspiring the next generation of innovators will be highlighted during Liverpool City Region’s first ever Innovation Investment Week.

Dozens of children will help usher in the week on Monday, May 13, at the unveiling of a new primary school book, The Animates – Learning in Liverpool, to inspire 6 to 8-year-olds into science and innovation, developed by KQ Liverpool in partnership with Connected Places Catapult.

The event heralds four days of innovation-themed activity including a local launch of the city region’s new Life Sciences Investment Zone, a Dragons’ Den style pitching event, a pharma industry conference and the city region’s third Innovation Investment Summit.

Evening events include a Pint of Science – which features talks by more than 40 academics from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Liverpool School of Tropical Science (LSTM) at pubs in the city centre and Wirral. On Wednesday, University of Liverpool Professor Matt Rosseinsky – recipient of last year’s Eni Award which is often described as the Nobel Prize of energy research – will address a special audience at the Materials Innovation Factory.

Experts from around the world will gather for the day-long Innovation Investment Summit at LJMU’s Student Life building on Thursday, May 16.

Liverpool City Region has more than £725m of live innovation projects with a further £1.9bn in development. The Life Sciences Investment Zone, which started operating in April, is expected to attract an extra £800m of public and private sector investment and is in addition to Astra Zeneca’s £450m investment in its Speke facility announced in March.

Innovation Investment Week events include:

    • Local launch of the Liverpool City Region Life Sciences Investment Zone, showcasing 21 projects designed to supercharge the sector by creating new hi-tech facilities, providing business and innovation support and training the next generation of talent. The Investment Zone paves the way for £800m of public and private investment and 8,000 new jobs.
    • The third Innovation Investment Summit which will bring together business leaders from around the world to blend global experience with local knowledge to drive the innovation agenda. It will attract investors, entrepreneurs, industry experts, researchers, and policymakers from across the UK and internationally and will explore investment prospects in one of the UK’s most dynamic and welcoming regions.
    • A schools-focused launch of KQ Liverpool’s children’s book aimed at inspiring 6–8-year-olds into science and innovation. Dozens of children will be at The Spine to hear Natalie Reeves Billing read extracts from the book that features cartoon animals from space who crash in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool innovation district and visit local world-leading innovators to repair their ship and themselves. The book has been commissioned by KQ Liverpool, in partnership with the Connected Places Catapult who are aiming to place copies in every city region primary school. The book will also be launched to a business and skills audience later in the week.

      Paddington The Spine in the day

      The Spine, Liverpool

    • A Dragons’ Den style pitching event in which innovative businesses from across the region will take the stage to showcase their groundbreaking ideas to a diverse panel of investors. The May 15 event is organised by LYVA Labs and the Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
    • The 7th industry led Bionow Pharma Manufacturing Conference. Held in the heart of the city region’s UK-leading Speke Pharma Cluster, the event will cover emerging technologies in manufacturing, innovation in digitalisation, skills for the 21st Century workforce, technology transfer and investing in the North. Andrew Owen, from the University of Liverpool’s Centre of Excellent for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT), will be among the speakers at the Growth Platform backed event on May 14.
    • Pint of Science. More than 40 University of Liverpool, LJMU and LSTM scientists, researchers and academics will take to the stage between May 13 – May 15 in venues across Liverpool and Wirral including Leaf, Future Yard, Tempest and the Ship and Mitre. From the surveillance state to how a cow and a spreadsheet could stop the next pandemic, there is something to satisfy everyone’s thirst for knowledge.

Since the first Innovation Investment Summit in 2022, Liverpool City Region has spearheaded a series of landmark initiatives including publication of the city region’s first ever Innovation Prospectus and piloting Innovate UK’s national Launchpad grant programme – reflecting the region’s highly developed place-based innovation approach.

Liverpool City Region has agreed the country’s first place-based partnership and action plan with Innovate UK and in 2023 a landmark innovation deal was signed with South Korea’s second city, Busan, as part of a major government UK-South Korea innovation twinning programme.

The city region has also become one of only three places in the UK to benefit from both Investment Zone and Freeport status.

The Investment Zone will help the city region towards its innovation powerhouse goal of spending 5% of its economy on R&D by 2030 – nearly double the UK target. Achieving the city region’s 5% R&D target would deliver an estimated £41.7bn of gross economic benefit, a 10% increase in productivity and 44,000 new jobs.

 

The city region is a world leader in infection prevention and control, materials science and AI solutions and emerging technologies with emerging strengths in net-zero and maritime innovation.

 

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Executive Director Investment and Delivery, Dr Aileen Jones, said:

“These are hugely exciting times for innovation in the Liverpool City Region.

“We have a new Life Sciences Investment Zone, which like our Freeport, offers significant opportunities to businesses and investors wishing to capitalise on our world-leading innovation capabilities.

“Innovation Investment Week will allow us to showcase the city region’s creativity, entrepreneurship and scientific brilliance, while shining a light on plans to inspire the next generation of innovators.”

iiCON strengthens team with senior appointment

The Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON has welcomed a new senior member to its team with the appointment of Professor Patryk Kot.

Professor Kot, a global expert in sensor technology, joins the consortium, which works propel the discovery and development of innovative treatments and products for infectious diseases, as Senior Business Development Manager.

iiCON, led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), is comprised of partners Unilever, Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, University of Liverpool, LifeArc, Evotec, and Infex Therapeutics.

Professor Kot, one of the youngest professors in the UK, joins iiCON from a role as Deputy Director of the Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Research Institute, and Professor of Microwave Sensor Technologies at Liverpool John Moores University.

The consortium has recently received £10 million in funding to develop what is believed to be the UK’s first Category 3 AI Robotic laboratory as part of the Liverpool City Region Health and Life Sciences Investment Zone. Investment Zone funding will support the development of the high-containment laboratories within LSTM capable of handling deadly pathogens and fitted out with leading-edge robotics and AI technology.

In his new role, Professor Kot will be a key part of an expert team that will specify and design the new laboratories. His expertise in sensors will support the development of new products in the iiCON portfolio, helping to commercialise industry innovations. He will also lead on the development of new partnerships, providing expertise and guidance on the best routes to market for the innovative products iiCON has developed to date.

His vast experience over a 12-year career includes leading a multidisciplinary research team in the design and development of bespoke microwave sensors for global challenges. His research team has developed microwave sensors for applications such as biohazards detection (DASA), healthcare applications (SBRI and UKRI), cultural heritage (Horizon 2020) and chemical process enhancement (Horizon 2020 FTI) with a total external funding award of over £25 million.

This experience includes working on a number of key projects through iiCON funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to explore the adaption of the fundamental concept of microwave spectroscopy for the detection of insecticide on walls for quality assurance of Governmental Indoor Residual Spraying programmes in low- and middle-income countries (India and Africa) to prevent vector borne diseases.

The developed prototype was manufactured in 2023 and the success of this project led to further external funding of £1.3 million from BMGF to explore the fundamental concept of microwave spectroscopy being applied as a wearable technology for the detection of Lymphatic filariasis in humans.   

Professor Patryk Kot said:

“I am delighted to be joining the iiCON team. I am eager to support the development of new products and contribute to the development of pioneering AI and robotics Category 3 laboratories, where technology comes together with scientific advancements through academia, research, and industry to combat global infectious diseases. An extraordinary opportunity to drive meaningfulchange.” 

Professor Janet Hemingway, iiCON’s founding director, said:

“Patryk is a leading expert in sensor technologies and we’re very pleased to be welcoming him to the iiCON team. His expertise and experience will help us drive forward next-generation technologies and support industry and academic co-innovation. Patryk will also be a key part of the team we are bringing together to support the design and develop of our next-generation Category 3 Robotic laboratories.”

Founded in 2020 with an £18.6m UK Government grant, iiCON brings together industry, academia and clinicians to accelerate the discovery, development and deployment of new treatments and products for infectious diseases – saving and improving millions of lives across the world. The consortium has quickly grown into a £260m programme working with a global network of more than 800 companies.

By enabling industry access to world-leading facilities and expertise, it has supported 36 new products to market, with more than 5 billion units of life-saving products and treatments reaching communities across the world. It has also created 559 jobs and bolstered the region’s R&D infection spend by £700m.

KQ Liverpool shortlisted for social impact at national awards

KQ Liverpool has been named as a finalist in the Property Week Awards 2024.

We have been shortlisted in the Social Impact Initiative – Commercial Property category in recognition of our Future Innovators Programme and wider skills outreach work.

The programme works with local schools and school leaders to encourage pupils to gain a deeper understanding of the various pioneering projects taking place within KQ Liverpool and open their minds to the many potential career opportunities that may be available to them in future.

A full Future Innovators Programme prospectus can be found here.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on 3 July. To find out more about the Property Week Awards and review this year’s other finalists, please click here.

 

 

Drones, swabs and robotic dogs feature in latest Future Innovators Programme tour

We were pleased to be joined by students from Cardinal Heenan School in West Derby as part of our Future Innovators Programme.

The programme encourages young people to learn about the innovation, science and technology career opportunities available in KQ Liverpool, with an aim of creating tangible aspirations. The programme works with Secondary school pupils and their career leads, physically bringing them into previously unopened areas within KQ Liverpool to demonstrate what’s on offer right on their doorstep.

The group of Sixth Form students took part in a tour of several facilities and were able to experience first-hand the incredible variety of innovation that takes place in our innovation district.

The day-long tour included visits to iiCON at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Digital Innovation Facility at University of Liverpool, Manufacturing Technology Centre at Liverpool Science Park and LJMU Built Environment, where a range of experts were on hand to kindly give their time to explain the work their organisations undertake and some of the career opportunities available within KQ Liverpool.

 

 

Change Makers Live returns to The Spine

More than 100 business leaders and representatives from across the Liverpool city region and beyond gathered for the second annual Change Makers Live Conference 2024 at The Spine, hosted by Downtown in Business.

Change Makers Live is a national business & innovation conference designed with the aim of exploring innovative solutions to the challenges facing the UK and global economy in the twenty-first century. This unique event invited some of the county’s leading entrepreneurs, academics, thinkers, and politicians to join us to discuss the key issues that are affecting businesses across sectors, not just in the UK, but around the world and start to offer innovative solutions to address these difficulties.

Speakers such as Jo Phillips, former adviser to both Paddy Ashdown and Bob Geldof and Nathan McNamara, chief executive DB3 Group joined us to give talks at the event, which was sponsored by Knowledge Quarter, BDP Design, Bruntwood SciTech, Connected Places Catapult, the House of Wisdom Group and Liverpool BID Company.

In the first talk of the day The Future is Co-operation, Rose Marley, chief executive Co-operatives UK, discussed how co-operation affects everything from AI to public funding and why it’s important to change makers.

KQ Liverpool’s assistant chief executive Emily Robson chaired an Innovative Design & Placemaking panel discussion, which brought together change makers Ged Clouser, principal architect, BDP Design, Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Sciontec and KQ Liverpool, Jessica Bowles director of strategy, Bruntwood SciTech, and Chris Bishop, Senior Project Manager, Muse to discuss Social Value In Place Making and how companies and new developments can contribute to their communities.

The How To Catapult Growth panel talk, facilitated by Alex Cousins, (business director of Connected Places Catapult) featured Rachael Stevens, (Knowledge Quarter Liverpool), Natalie Reeves-Billing, (Author), and Ruth Wood, (chief executive, Mersey Maritime) who discussed business growth and the best methods to foster and drive growth in various sectors and industries in the region.

Delegates enjoyed a delicious lunch before an insightful session with Tim Heatley, Co-Founder, Capital & Centric a ‘disruptor’ property development company, who shared some of his insights and experiences on current affairs in the property industry. He discussed regeneration and creating demand in a place where it doesn’t exist, and how this can help to rejuvenate a stagnant economy.

The conference ended with the important point that We Can’t All Be Scientists And Professors!, as we heard from Elaine Bowker (principal, City of Liverpool College), Sophie Gilmore (chief executive, HybridTec), Emily Robson and Steven Hesketh, Hospitality Hero, who discussed how diversity in sectors and careers is key.

Frank McKenna, chief executive of Downtown in Business, said:

“This year’s Change Makers Live Conference saw some amazing insights from our members and many of the delegates form valuable and long-lasting connections.”

£500k awarded for research to combat bird flu

The Pandemic Institute has come together with The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (HPRU EZI) and the Pandemic Sciences Institute (PSI) in Oxford, to award almost £500,000 for research on Avian Influenza, in collaboration with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Avian Influenza, also known as Bird flu, is a virus that can cause illness in captive and wild birds, and also has the potential to spread to mammals including humans. Certain forms of the virus are termed ‘highly pathogenic’, which means they have greater potential to cause serious illness and even death. The aim of this funding is to address critical research gaps in Avian Influenza knowledge, especially highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, particularly in the following areas:

  • Diagnostics
  • Anti-virals
  • Vaccines
  • Mathematical modelling to better understand the disease evolution and spread
  • Non-pharmaceutical interventions e.g. behavioural changes

The funding will be distributed across eight projects from several organisations, including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Liverpool, University of Oxford, all working alongside UKHSA, the government agency responsible for preventing, preparing for and responding to infectious diseases and environmental hazards.

Dr Carolina Arevalo, Deputy Director, Research, Evidence & Knowledge at UKHSA said:

“We are pleased to collaborate with The Pandemic Institute on this funding call, addressing key research needs and strengthening existing partnerships with university researchers.”

One of the funded projects will seek to develop ‘drug knowledge libraries’, using mathematical modelling to simulate the optimal dose of particular drugs during a future outbreak or pandemic.

Professor Saye Khoo, a Professor of Pharmacology, Therapeutics at the University of Liverpool said:

“This is an important first step in building capability to respond to any emerging virus should an outbreak occur. There is no guarantee that an antiviral licensed for one disease will necessarily achieve effective target concentrations for another virus or new variant, and having these libraries will further allow us to respond flexibly and adapt rapidly to emerging flu outbreaks.”

Dr Shaun Pennington will be working with colleagues from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine on a Controlled Human Infection Model, or CHIM, which is a research method where healthy volunteers are deliberately exposed to a specific pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria. This controlled exposure allows scientists to study how the pathogen interacts with the human body, including how the infection progresses over time, and how the immune system responds to the pathogen. CHIM studies play a crucial role in advancing our understanding of infection and disease and are now routinely used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments and vaccines.

“This funding will facilitate the development of a new CHIM using a weakened strain of temperature-sensitive avian influenza. This strain is particularly suited for CHIM as it can only replicate in the nose at cooler temperatures and cannot replicate in the lungs or cause illness. Through the establishment of this CHIM, we aim to significantly contribute to the development and evaluation of new diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines, thereby enhancing the UK’s readiness to address future disease outbreaks.“

Other projects will focus on developing new diagnostic tests and mapping potential risk to humans. Dr Emily Nixon, a Lecturer in Mathematics for Healthcare at the University of Liverpool said:

“Understanding the spatial variation in risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds and poultry is crucial for assessing the risk of exposure to humans. This funding will allow us to map risk to poultry workers and the public, and will build on mathematical models developed at the University of Liverpool by Professor Sharkey.”

You can find a full list of awarded projects below.

About The Pandemic Institute
The Pandemic Institute’s is a unique collaboration of academic, civic and health partners, whose mission is to protect the world from emerging infections and pandemic threats. Launched in 2021, the Institute is formed of seven founding partners: The University of Liverpool (host organisation), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust, and Knowledge Quarter Liverpool.

Read more here.

FUNDED PROJECTS

Lead investigator and project titles:

Prof Saye Khoo, University of Liverpool: Modelling drug knowledge libraries for pandemic/avian flu
Dr Shaun Pennington, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine:  A controlled human infection model of avian influenza
Dr Shaun Pennington, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine: A pre-clinical pipeline for avian influenza therapeutics
Dr Emily Nixon, Professor Kieran Sharkey, University of Liverpool: Modelling transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry and mapping potential risk to humans

The Pandemic Institute to host Pint of Science event

Join The Pandemic Institute this May as it explores just what is so special about Liverpool, and why as a city we are leading the way in tackling infectious diseases.

Pint of Science is an annual event that takes place across three nights, in 42 cities in the UK, and in 25 countries across the world. This is the 7th year Pint of Science has taken place in Liverpool, and it has now expanded across the city and over to the Wirral. The sell-out events allow Liverpool-based researchers to share their work with members of the public, from the Mersey Marvels that trailblazed healthcare in Liverpool, to deep-sea mining and the use of AI in justice. There really is something for everyone!

The Pandemic Institute’s evening will take place on Tuesday 14th May, at Leaf on Bold Street, and will be hosted by Director Professor Tom Solomon, CBE. Liverpool has a proud history of excellence in public health and infectious diseases research, and Tom will lead a whistle-stop tour of Liverpool, from the 1832 cholera pandemic in the slums of Liverpool, to our modern-day firsts in fighting emerging infections.

One such innovative piece of work is the development of new diagnostic tests, and Dr Caitlin Thompson (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) will join us to talk about her work, making a lateral flow test for one of the world’s most dangerous viruses (Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever). Rounding off the night, Professor Kay O’Halloran will discuss her work with Liverpool’s ‘digital twin’, and the importance of digital media to ensure that communities can make informed decisions during times of extreme risk.

With up to £800 million being invested in our region over the next 10 years to supercharge health and life sciences, Liverpool is an exciting place to be for world-leading scientific research.   

To book your tickets for The Pandemic Institute Pint of Science night, click here.

The festival will take place in Liverpool on the 13th – 15th May 2024, to see the full range of events, click here.

KQ Liverpool appoints new Assistant Chief Executive

Policy and Research Manager, Emily Robson, has been appointed as Assistant Chief Executive of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool). 

Emily, who has spent the last four years supporting the strategic development and delivery of inclusive innovation programmes within the innovation district, will be working alongside Colin Sinclair, who is the Chief Executive of both KQ Liverpool and Sciontec Developments Limited. 

Wirral-born, Emily graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2020 with a 1st Class Degree in History and English Language before joining KQ Liverpool as a Graduate Policy Assistant. 

Emily Robson, Assistant Chief Executive at KQ Liverpool, said:

“The strength of the knowledge economy in Liverpool and the potential that it has to positively impact people’s lives is something I am incredibly passionate about. 

“To be working for an organisation that genuinely cares about making a difference is inspiring and I am really excited to be leading on that agenda going forward.” 

Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive of KQ Liverpool, said:

“As we look to accelerate the work we already do around inclusive growth, business support and skills, we needed someone with laser-like focus to maintain momentum and push forward to deliver our objectives. 

“With the recent announcement of the £1.26m of Liverpool City Region Life Sciences Investment Zone funding being injected into our education, skills and outreach programmes, it is the perfect time for Emily to take the next exciting step in her career.”

KQ Liverpool to embark on five-year city region skills programmes backed by Innovation Zone funding

KQ Liverpool is set to invest £1.26m, matched by funding from the city region’s Innovation Zone, to scale up its groundbreaking innovation skills and outreach programmes over the next five years.

It will also bring forward new partnership programmes to target underprivileged communities and address issues around digital barriers, social mobility and access to opportunities in careers such as health and life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

The series of programmes will be part of a skills and innovation testbed designed to benefit the entire city region and improve outcomes for local communities by creating pathways into innovation. It will also support the creation of new traineeships to help kickstart science and tech careers.

The skills and outreach programmes will focus on supporting students to develop greater work-readiness, behaviours and soft skills, while connecting the curriculum to local initiatives and employers.

Students from local schools will also take part in activities at institutions across KQ Liverpool innovation district, including live venom extractions at the Snakebite Research Centre within Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, hands-on robotic demonstrations at Manufacturing Technology Centre at Liverpool Science Park and immersive VR demonstrations at the Digital Innovation Factory.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“With up to £800m of investment and thousands of quality, high skilled jobs on offer, the Liverpool City Region’s Innovation Zone is an important tool in our arsenal to position ourselves at the head of UK science and innovation. But to take advantage of the jobs that it will create, we have to make sure that local people have the skills to get them.

“In our area we’re proud to do things differently. Throughout the development of our Innovation Zone, I have been clear that we need to deliver more than purely financial incentives. We have to use this status as a force for good, to connect our residents up to secure, well-paid jobs and training opportunities, and attract transformational investment into our communities.”

Cllr Nick Small, Cabinet Member for City Development at Liverpool City Council, said: 

“KQ Liverpool is home to some of the world’s most influential players in science, technology, health, culture and education.

“Within that ecosystem is a huge spectrum of skills and career opportunities that should be available to anyone with aspirations in this sector and our outreach programmes reflect our focus on developing these skills within our young people.

“Our existing Future Innovators Programme has already welcomed dozens of young people and we are incredibly excited to scale up those efforts and roll out a series of new programmes across a wide variety of institutions to share the many experiences and pathways available within our innovation district.”

Liverpool City Region’s Investment Zone plans to supercharge health and life sciences and create 8,000 jobs

  • 21 projects unveiled – including major development plans for Sci-Tech Daresbury, Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, Maghull and St Helens 
  • Schemes to create new hi-tech facilities while training next generation of talent
  • Potential to attract £800m investment, transforming the economy while saving lives worldwide

Ambitious plans to supercharge Liverpool City Region’s economy, creating 8,000 new jobs and saving lives across the world have been unveiled today.

The city region’s Life Sciences Investment Zone plans are detailed in a new Prospectus highlighting the area’s world leading innovation strengths and assets, while showcasing 21 projects that will create new hi-tech facilities, provide business and innovation support and train the next generation of talent.

Major developments are proposed at Maghull Health Park, St Helens Manufacturing and Innovation Campus, Earlsfield Park Knowsley, Sci-Tech Daresbury and Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, where two new buildings will provide additional laboratory space to boost the city region’s world-leading infection innovation capabilities.

Other projects will drive breakthroughs in children’s health, mental health, vaccine production, therapeutics and the use of data and AI to help people lead healthier lives.

The Investment Zone will run for 10 years and has the potential to deliver £800m of public and private investment.

Three Investment Zone tax sites at Maghull Health Park, St Helens Manufacturing and Innovation Campus and Sci-Tech Daresbury will offer financial benefits to expanding or relocating businesses, while Halton and St Helens borough councils will be able to retain business rates on new properties to help pay for further developments.

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said:

With up to £800m of investment and thousands of quality, high skilled jobs on offer, the Liverpool City Region Innovation Zone is an important tool in our arsenal to position our area at the head of UK science and innovation. 

“But in the Liverpool City Region, we’re proud to do things differently. Throughout the development of our Innovation Zone, I have been clear that any investment in our area must go further than purely financial incentives. I want to use our status as a force for good, to connect our residents up to secure, well-paid jobs and training opportunities, and attract transformational investment into our communities. 

“Becoming an innovation superpower is a lofty ambition – but I firmly believe that, if anywhere has the potential to achieve it, then it is the Liverpool City Region.”

Projects planned as part of the Investment Zone include:

  • HEMISPHERE One and Two in Paddington Village, Liverpool City Council’s flagship regeneration scheme in the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool innovation district. The two multi-storey high-tech new builds will help satisfy a soaring demand for chemistry and life science laboratories.
  • Within Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, Investment Zone Funding will enable the expansion of the University of Liverpool’s world-first Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT) and the Civic HealthTech Innovation Zone (CHI-Zone), which will spearhead the use of AI to transform health and social care. The Pandemic Institute will also continue to progress its plans to tackle emerging infections and pandemic threats.
  • New high-containment Category Three labs fitted with leading-edge robotics and AI technology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for use by the Infection Innovation Consortium: iiCON, a £260m programme that works with more than 800 companies worldwide and has delivered over 5 billion units of life-saving products and treatments in just 3½ years. 
  • Major expansion of Sci-Tech Daresbury. The Investment Zone will help deliver a new laboratory and new office building to accommodate further growth on the north of England’s only national science and innovation campus. It would ultimately deliver 70,000 sq m (750,000 sq ft) of new laboratories, offices and technical facilities. The site is home to the NW Healthtech cluster and hosts more than 150 high-tech businesses, including 50 involved in health and life sciences. It is also home to the UK’s most powerful supercomputer dedicated to industrial R&D. Investment Zone support will help SciTech Daresbury towards ambitious plans to increase its workforce from 2,000 to around 10,000 over the next 15-20 years.
  • A Mental Health Digital Research Centre at Mersey Care’s 42-hectare Maghull Health Park, which is home to Europe’s largest concentration of complex secure mental health services and leading clinical excellence for serious mental illness. Based on the former HMP Kennet site, the new centre will create the environment for innovators to develop new treatments to support improved mental health care. Mersey Care’s expansion plans are expected to create 1,270 new jobs.
  • St Helens Manufacturing and Innovation Campus. The £500m project will redevelop land formerly used by the glass industry to expand the area’s manufacturing and innovation capabilities. It has the potential to create more than 1,000 new jobs. Key players include St Helens Borough Council, Glass Futures, Inovus Medical, NSG Pilkington, Network Space and SINA Medical Glass, which is creating a modern manufacturing facility. 

Other projects are located at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Earlsfield Park, Knowsley and the Speke Pharma Cluster, where Investment Zone funding is set to support TriRx’s £10m investment to enhance its capabilities to manufacture monoclonal antibodies.

Speke Pharma Cluster is one of Europe’s largest biomanufacturing centres, containing the UK’s biggest vaccine facility, and is home to some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical names including CSL Seqirus and AstraZeneca, who last week announced a £450m investment in its Speke facility.

The Liverpool City Region also has the UK’s largest concentration of specialist hospitals outside London and with more than 7,000 volunteers, is a leader in clinical trials.

Together with neighbouring Cheshire and Warrington, the city region delivers £2bn of infectious disease research and development each year – the biggest concentration in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

Investment Zone projects will also provide business and innovation support, with KQ Liverpool and Inovus running new skills and talent programmes for local people to aid workforce creation and recruitment. Social value, net zero and equality, diversity and inclusion will be important considerations in project development.

The Investment Zone plans were developed in collaboration with the city region’s life sciences sector, with the University of Liverpool playing a major role.

University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Jones said:

“We are a global University, delivering world-leading research but with a keen focus on our civic role in the city and wider region.

“We look forward to playing a vital role in the delivery of these ambitious plans which will result in meaningful research that will have real-world impact.”

Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder for Digital and Innovation Cllr Paul Stuart said:

“The Investment Zone has the potential to transform the city region’s health and life sciences sector by growing our world-leading strengths and tapping into our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

“It will also provide huge opportunities to local people. The projects are both ambitious and imaginative and will help ensure the benefits are felt far and wide.”